Got Caught Shoplifting? Here’s How a Shoplifting Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia Can Help You.

It may not feel like a big deal when you’re in the middle of doing it, but if you got caught shoplifting in Philadelphia, it can mean serious trouble for you, now and in the future. Shoplifting in Pennsylvania is also known as retail theft. The consequences for a first time offense depend upon the value of what you took, but if you’ve done it before then the penalties can be very severe, and may mean jail time. It may also make all the difference in being able to get a job, get into school, or get approval for renting an apartment. The best thing to do if you’ve been charged is to have an experienced shoplifting defense lawyer in Philadelphia represent you against the charges. Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law will provide you with an excellent defense and give you the best chance of clearing your name.


In many cases, people who are charged with a Summary Offense for retail theft hear that the fines are minimal and are tempted to simply plead guilty, pay what they owe and move on. If you are absolutely certain that you will never get into trouble with the law again, then that may be the right decision. But it is important to remember that doing so marks you as a criminal. Anybody that ever runs a background check will see that you were found guilty of shoplifting – and if you are ever charged and convicted of retail theft again, you are very likely to face spending some time in jail.


The penalties and fines for retail theft in Pennsylvania are determined by the value of the item that has been stolen as well as by whether it is a first, second or third offense.


  • First time offenders face fines of $10 to $250 and up to ninety days in jail for items valued at $150 or less.
  • Second time offenders face fines of $250 to $500 and up to three years in jail for items valued under $150
  • Third time offenders face fines of at least $500 and lose their driver’s license for thirty days.
  • Theft of items valued over $150 but under $2000 face up to five years in prison
  • Theft of items by a third time offender, or of items valued over $2000 or of a car, a gun, face up to seven years in prison.


There are a number of defenses that a skilled Philadelphia shoplifting attorney can mount on your behalf, including questioning the evidence against you, questioning how the store knew what your intent was, and questioning the behavior of the security personnel who were involved in charging you with the crime. If you are a first time offender you can also be recommended for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, a special type of probation that includes community service and keeps your record clean if you stay out of trouble.


The lawyers at Erik B. Jensen will listen to the details of your situation and make recommendations that are in your best interests. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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